giant Cypress

A monk asked Joshu, “What is the meaning of
Bodhidharma's coming to China?”
Joshu said, “The oak tree in the garden.”

A monk asked Zhaozhou, “What is the living meaning of Zen?”
Zhaozhou said, “The cypress tree in the yard.”
giant Cypress
Wilbur Pan lives in New Jersey, and is responsible for what goes on here. This is mainly about Japanese woodworking tools and other wooddorking things. Plus stupid jokes.

You can ask a question using the “Ask” link above, or through the contact information at the bottom of the page.
Window motif, found in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China.
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Window motif, found in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China.
Zoom Info
Window motif, found in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China.
Zoom Info

Window motif, found in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China.

   Anonymous asked:

Hi, Wilbur! Love the blog, it has helped me through a lot of murky waters. I'm still stuck on the issue of sawing hardwoods with a Japanese saw. I would like to order the 210mm and 270 Gyokucho ryobas as my first made-in-Japan Japanese saws, but am worried: do I just need to be a little more careful to not lose a tooth, or will the cut quality suffer, or the speed? Are there beginner options more suited to hardwoods? Am I worrying about something that has been blown out of proportion? Thanks!

Thanks for reading! I really appreciate it.

The issue of the difficulties Japanese saws have with hardwoods is overblown. It’s possible to break the teeth of a Japanese saw, but that’s an issue of technique, and even then, it’s not easy to do that. In terms of speed, that’s much more operator-dependent than a factor of the type of saw itself. The quality of the cut from a Japanese saw, on the other hand, can and will be excellent.

In a nutshell, if you’re interested in giving Japanese saws a try, go for it. At the end of the day, that’s going to be the only way to find out if they are for you. But my bet is that you’ll be happy with them.

   Anonymous asked:

Hi Wilbur, would you say a properly tuned and very sharp smoothing kanna at 42 degrees is capable of smoothing most wood species hard or softwood and will be a good all around smoothing plane to have? Does one really need a kanna with a bedding angle of 47 degrees or higher to plane dense tropical and interlocked grain wood?

I know that I can deal with most North America species pretty well with a Japanese plane that has a bed angle in the 40° range. I have one Japanese plane with a 45° bed angle that takes care of any board I can’t deal with my other planes.

The Tsunesaburo plane company seems to like 39-41° as a good bed angle  for cherry and birch, and 42° for oak and maple. But I would caution that there is a lot more going on than the specific bed angle of your plane. Although increasing bed angle is one way to go, sharpness and setting your plane to take a thinner shaving goes a long way towards reducing tearout, and of course, there’s the chipbreaker. When I took Yann Giguère’s class last summer, I managed to get a tearout-free surface on a piece of bubinga by sharpening the blade and tweaking the chipbreaker of my 40° Japanese plane.

tetsuichi:

Did you know that lacquerware was once referred to as “japan,” in the way porcelain is still referred to as “china”?Woodworking content: The word “Japanning” is still in common use by vintage tool enthusiasts, as it refers to the tough asphaltum based paint that was often used on tools.

tetsuichi:

Did you know that lacquerware was once referred to as “japan,” in the way porcelain is still referred to as “china”?

Woodworking content: The word “Japanning” is still in common use by vintage tool enthusiasts, as it refers to the tough asphaltum based paint that was often used on tools.

The actor Onoe Matsusuke II as the carpenter Rokusaburo, by Utagawa Toyokuni I, circa 1810.
(From the collection of the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, UCLA. Thanks to the Sturdy Butterfly for the link.)

The actor Onoe Matsusuke II as the carpenter Rokusaburo, by Utagawa Toyokuni I, circa 1810.

(From the collection of the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, UCLA. Thanks to the Sturdy Butterfly for the link.)


@LeeValleyTools Used to measure the thickness of shavings in planing contests for woodworkers who were REALLY bad at sharpening.
— Wilbur Pan (@wilburpan)
July 30, 2014